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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello, everyone

My partner and I will be celebrating our marriage on November 25th. This is after 6 months of living together in French territory (we have been together for 3 years) as per the rules.

In trying to follow the rules to stay together we are going to apply for my CDS the day after. Here are the particularities of our situation:

We live in a tiny home on his parents property. We have solar panels and source water from the farm. This means that we do not have an EDF. We recently got our bank account together and will only have been open for 2 months at the time of our application.

Our only means of proving our life in common is his parents attestations that we live there and together. We want to create a bail with his parents starting the date of my arrival but that is also administrative pressure we dont want to put on his parents if we can avoid it.

I am also here on a Visa D visiteur visa which ends on the 2nd of December. Which means that during the time my application is being considered I will be clandestine. The dossier will be signed before the date of my expiration but I am worried still. I

I have been re assured by the Prefecture that it will be only a small tax to get me back into regularity but honestly I have been dealing with the French bureaucracy to believe that.
My worst fear is that in order to have the appropriate papers I will have to stay 6 months clandestine in order to be in the time line necessary. That terrifies me.

If ANYONE has any advice I would really appreciate it.
Lady Bird
 

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Welcome to the forum!

There are several types of CdS. Have you already looked at the requirements?
Maybe you're aiming for the "carte de séjour vie privée et familiale" as spouse of a French national.

Check this out if you've not already been there: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2209

French law stipulates that you must submit your application for the "carte de séjour vie privée et familiale" during the two months preceding the expiration of your visa.
If you submit after expiration of your visa you'll have to pay a "droit de visa de régularisation" of 180€.

They give a list of documents to produce, including the "Justificatifs de communauté de vie : déclaration sur l'honneur conjointe du couple attestant de leur vie commune et tous documents permettant d'établir la communauté de vie (contrat de bail, quittance EDF, relevé d'identité bancaire, etc.)" which are causing you stress.

Try an "attestation de résidence/domicile/hébergement" signed by your future husband's parents dated from when you moved in. Haven't you already been asked for this when opening a bank account? Mobile phone bill?

Any documents with your two names on it are supposed to prove that you are officially "together" since x months.

This really isn't much fun, is it? I mean love and marriage being reduced to trivial paperwork..
 

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I don't know about the visa timeline stuff but normally, self certification "on your honour" of living together is accepted. Is it not in this case?
A signed declaration sur l'honneur is a legal document and it can be used in court, so it's not to be written lightly, which is why it's normally acceptable.
The wording to be used in this case is given on the government website:
https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R998

And as Poloss says, the parents can write an attestation d'hébèrgement, ie the same kind of document - easy to write, accepted by the administation, and as long as it's true there is no stress involved.
 

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The thing about paying that 180€ "fine" for renewing your titre de séjour late is fairly new - but very much welcome. Take full advantage of it. (Bring in a copy of the page from Service Public just in case you need to refer to it.)

But once you are married, you'll need to wait until you receive your livret de famille. It may be delivered on the spot (as ours was), but these days I'm told it usually takes a few days to a week or two to come through. That will be your main document for proving whatever to whoever.

As far as "proof of residence" documents, you sometimes have to get a bit creative. (I did - for YEARS.) What does your spouse use for proof of residence? That, plus your livret de famille should suffice - though you will have to explain to the officials about the well water and the solar panels. Does your spouse have a tax assessment? Car registration? Any sort of bills or government documents that he receives at the address at which you are living? Obviously, you should get an attestation d'hebergement from your in-laws/hosts. You may not need a formal bail (at least not right away), but his parents can (and maybe should) refer to whatever arrangement you have on sharing expenses or paying rent in their attestation.

Give it a "best effort" and then you simply admit that that's all you've got - and then ask them what they suggest. Unless you've really honked off the person you're dealing with at the prefecture, things normally go better if you show that you're trying and are willing to work with them to find a solution. The fact that you're married will carry some weight (and that's why you kind of have to wait for the livret de famille) and you need to show that you're willing and able to roll with whatever they suggest. Ask his parents what they use to prove residence when they need to.

I spent something like 20 months as a "sans papiers" after we got married - through no fault of my own, I might add. It's inconvenient as can be, but you're in no real danger of arrest or prosecution as long as you're carrying a US (or other European or large Western country) passport. Work with the folks in the prefecture - and once you have your carte de séjour, give some thought to what you can sign up for that will give you "proof of residence" documents. Most places say they won't take a mobile phone bill, but if that's all you've got, some will relent.

And plan for the worst "fall back" situation. If you can't prove the co-habitation, they may expect you to return back home and get a standard spouse visa. Other than the transportation, that may wind up being the quickest and easiest way to proceed, as they pretty much can't refuse you a spouse visa unless you pose some threat to the Republic. In any event, you will have to go through the OFII processing (classes in civics, Life in France, an interview with Pole Emploi, assessment of your French and medical exam).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your response! I have bookmarked the link. Yes, it is really unfortunate. But we also can't help whom we fall in love with and I believe love is worth fighting for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your response! I have bookmarked the link. Our concern is having enough to prove our vie en commune for the 6 months necessary. We have an attestation from his parents but cannot prove any official documents with both our names. Yes, it is really unfortunate. But we also can't help whom we fall in love with and I believe love is worth fighting for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The thing about paying that 180€ "fine" for renewing your titre de séjour late is fairly new - but very much welcome. Take full advantage of it. (Bring in a copy of the page from Service Public just in case you need to refer to it.)

But once you are married, you'll need to wait until you receive your livret de famille. It may be delivered on the spot (as ours was), but these days I'm told it usually takes a few days to a week or two to come through. That will be your main document for proving whatever to whoever.

As far as "proof of residence" documents, you sometimes have to get a bit creative. (I did - for YEARS.) What does your spouse use for proof of residence? That, plus your livret de famille should suffice - though you will have to explain to the officials about the well water and the solar panels. Does your spouse have a tax assessment? Car registration? Any sort of bills or government documents that he receives at the address at which you are living? Obviously, you should get an attestation d'hebergement from your in-laws/hosts. You may not need a formal bail (at least not right away), but his parents can (and maybe should) refer to whatever arrangement you have on sharing expenses or paying rent in their attestation.

Give it a "best effort" and then you simply admit that that's all you've got - and then ask them what they suggest. Unless you've really honked off the person you're dealing with at the prefecture, things normally go better if you show that you're trying and are willing to work with them to find a solution. The fact that you're married will carry some weight (and that's why you kind of have to wait for the livret de famille) and you need to show that you're willing and able to roll with whatever they suggest. Ask his parents what they use to prove residence when they need to.

I spent something like 20 months as a "sans papiers" after we got married - through no fault of my own, I might add. It's inconvenient as can be, but you're in no real danger of arrest or prosecution as long as you're carrying a US (or other European or large Western country) passport. Work with the folks in the prefecture - and once you have your carte de séjour, give some thought to what you can sign up for that will give you "proof of residence" documents. Most places say they won't take a mobile phone bill, but if that's all you've got, some will relent.

And plan for the worst "fall back" situation. If you can't prove the co-habitation, they may expect you to return back home and get a standard spouse visa. Other than the transportation, that may wind up being the quickest and easiest way to proceed, as they pretty much can't refuse you a spouse visa unless you pose some threat to the Republic. In any event, you will have to go through the OFII processing (classes in civics, Life in France, an interview with Pole Emploi, assessment of your French and medical exam).
Cheers,
Bev
Thank you for the reassurance. The situation is scary but doable. Our main problem is that other than an attestation from his parents and my attestation de concubinage we don't have anything official that they accept. We got mobile phone bills in both of our names AND LET ME TELL YOU that was a head ache and 5 appointments chez Orange in itself. Our prefecture is also hands-off in that we have to send the dossier by mail. No appointments accepted for a first Titre de sejour (we tried by just showing up and were turned away) so "working with" the prefect is off the table. We are seeing our notaire today to ask how to proceed with a bail as well.
I will keep you updated!
 

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Do you have any friends in the area who can write you attestations - that they know you and know that you have been co-habitating? It's not guaranteed. (We tried that when I had my immigration problems, but it turned out the problems stemmed from a different issue.) You'll need their attestation, plus a copy of their carte d'identité (or passport if they are foreigners).

If you're getting married, is there any chance you could plan a "honeymoon" vacation back in the States? Getting a spouse visa once you have the livret de famille only takes a few days (provided you can get an appointment at the relevant consulate - but you can book that online from here).

Or - and it's the long way around the problem - can you simply renew your visitor visa for a year? That way you don't have to prove co-habitation at all - and you can change your status when the next renewal period comes up. (You may also be able to schedule the OFII stuff so that it's all out of the way by the time you are ready to change status.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you have any friends in the area who can write you attestations - that they know you and know that you have been co-habitating? It's not guaranteed. (We tried that when I had my immigration problems, but it turned out the problems stemmed from a different issue.) You'll need their attestation, plus a copy of their carte d'identité (or passport if they are foreigners).

If you're getting married, is there any chance you could plan a "honeymoon" vacation back in the States? Getting a spouse visa once you have the livret de famille only takes a few days (provided you can get an appointment at the relevant consulate - but you can book that online from here).

Or - and it's the long way around the problem - can you simply renew your visitor visa for a year? That way you don't have to prove co-habitation at all - and you can change your status when the next renewal period comes up. (You may also be able to schedule the OFII stuff so that it's all out of the way by the time you are ready to change status.)
Cheers,
Bev
We were able to get attestations from 3 neighbors. They are so wonderful for doing so. We considered renewing my visa for the year but financially we cannot prove the means for an entire year. We are going to "give it our best shot" with what we have. Just waiting for the moment until the big day. Thank you for the ideas!
 
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